As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, October 2011.
Times are tough. That doesn’t mean you should patiently wait for your phone to ring, however. Now more than ever is the time to market your business. One of the best ways to do that is with postcards.
Why postcards? Simple: Because it’s easier to generate leads than to close loans.
That’s what postcard mailing campaigns intend to do — generate leads. They’re an inexpensive way to promote your business and a critical first step in your larger marketing scheme and business plan.
The following insights can help you create a successful postcard marketing campaign.
Target your market
Who are your ideal clients? Do you want to focus on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs loans? What about Federal Housing Administration loans, reverse mortgages, loans for short sales, etc.?
Before you do anything else, you must know who you intend to target. Each borrower group will respond to different messages, and you must adjust your mailing campaigns appropriately.
After you decide who you’re trying to reach, you can purchase a mailing list that targets those particular prospects. Doing this will greatly improve your chances of success.
Design a card
When it comes to designing a card, ask yourself the following 10 questions. Does the card:
Use a clear, bold headline?
Use secondary headlines to lead into the text?
List the benefits I’m offering prospects?
Include graphics that support the message?
Have color that pops off the page?
Explain my offer clearly?
Call people to action?
List my company name and display its logo?
Include contact information?
Have a return address?
Nos. 1, 2 and 3 deal with the words you use to deliver your message. You want the headline to be prominent and to communicate your message immediately. If prospects can’t understand your message in two seconds, your campaign likely will fail.
Nos. 4 and 5 deal with graphic design. The better you do in this area, the better your card will hold people’s attention. Don’t let the design distract from the message. If the graphic doesn’t support the headline, you’ll confuse people. If your card is bland, people won’t pay attention.
Nos. 6 and 7 help generate calls. Make people an offer they can’t refuse, then ask them to call you. Don’t talk around your call to action. Clearly and directly ask people to contact you.
Nos. 8, 9 and 10 lend to your business’s credibility. Make sure people know you have a real business location and professional contact information. These things legitimize you and your company. They also help you build your brand.
Rinse and repeat
If you do only one postcard mailing, you likely won’t get a high response rate.
What you need is a campaign, a predetermined series of mailings to the same group of addresses. Each card should have a similar look and feel. Your message can change slightly as long as you continue to target the proper audience. Freshen up your design as you go along.
A well-executed campaign will increase prospects’ awareness of your business and improve the likelihood they’ll eventually call you.
Joy Gendusa is the founder and CEO of direct-mail marketing firm PostcardMania.
The company, started in 1998, offers full-service postcard marketing, website design and development, e-mail marketing, and results evaluations. In 2010, PostcardMania reached more than $19 million in annual revenue. The company employs more than 190 people and has more than 45,000 customers in more than 350 industries. Reach Gendusa at Joy.Gendusa@postcardmania.com or (800) 628-1804.